Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, June 28, 2010

1921-22 – “AFRICAN GUIDEBOOKS -PART 10 – MINERALS.”

This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.


If “The Crown” reserved all “metals, ore, and mineral oils,” just how could someone strike it rich mining in 1920’s Kenya?

The Mining Ordinance and Regulations for the Kenya Colony were laid down in 1912 and revised in January 1913 and reported in The South and East African Yearbook and Guide for 1922. It cost 5 florins a year to gain a prospector’s license which gave “the right to peg out one claim per licence (sic) held. Discoveries must be reported within seven days,” (no mean feat considering it might take a few days just to reach a rail head and hope that the telegraph system was operating.) But one shouldn’t take too long to report the discovery because “Claims remaining unworked for more than 28 days are deemed to be abandoned.”

And if you found something? The Governor might grant a lease of 20 acres for gold or precious stones for 42 years at 1 florin per acre. That required either “constant personal labour or of maintaining 1 European per 5 acres constantly employed.” And the government took its share of the work, too. “Any workings established on a payable basis must furnish accounts to the Government. Royalties are fixed by the Governor but must not exceed 10 per cent. of the net profits, except in the case of precious stones.”

So possibly the easiest way to strike it rich was by finding various dupes, willing to invest their own capital in a mining scheme.
Hence the plot of Jade del Cameron’s next mystery/adventure: The Crocodile’s Last Embrace (Sept. 7, 2010).

Next week: What the Mining Manual says about Mining laws

Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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Monday, June 21, 2010

1921-22 – “AFRICAN GUIDEBOOKS -PART 9 – COME TO KENYA CONT.”

This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.


Come to Kenya Colony – start fresh – leave that troubled life in England behind you. That seems to be the theme of many of the African Guidebooks.

The colony allowed for farms up to 5,000 acres (or “with the consent of the Secretary of State, 7,500 acres). And land “for ex-service men and women” was doled out as well. “Class A farms were under 160 acres, free of premium.” “Class B farms ranged from 1,000 to 5,000 acres” but came at a price. Elspeth Huxley’s father gave up his farm at Thika to take one of these unproven farms in the “upcountry.”

With so much land, the potential for profit seemed unlimited, but the colony did in fact put limitations of those landholders. The South and East African Yearbook and Guide for 1922 states on page 665 that “The Crown reserves all water from springs, rivers or lakes, which is not required for domestic purposes upon the land; all foreshores; metals, ore, and mineral oils; roads and outspans. Page 669 continues with irrigation laws: “No water furrow may be constructed without permission” and “all privileges granted under the above rules may be cancelled by the Governor at any future time.”

Still, just as people left Boston, New York, and other cities behind and flocked to the western United States, many people came to Kenya Colony for a fresh start, but not everyone who answered the siren call was up to the challenge. As past blogs have reported, some suffered from stress or broken hearts and committed suicide. And others were scoundrels looking to make easy money from others.

Hence the plot of Jade del Cameron’s next mystery/adventure: The Crocodile’s Last Embrace (Sept. 7, 2010).

Next week: Striking it rich?

Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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Monday, June 14, 2010

1921-22 – “AFRICAN GUIDEBOOKS -PART 8 – COME TO KENYA”

This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.


The land that Jade del Cameron and her friends knew in Jade’s 1919-1920 adventures was changing in 1921. For one thing, the British East African Protectorate had become the Kenya Colony. For another, there was a tremendous influx of British into the colony as settlers, merchants, businessmen, or hobby farmers. Nairobi has changed from a swampy town of tin shanties to a thriving city. (It still sat on a swamp.) What did The South and East African Yearbook and Guide (1922) have to say about the colony?

Pages 635-639 of the guidebook gave a brief overview of facts ranging from the basic geography (“bounded on the East by the Indian Oean; in the N. E. by Italian Somaliland; on the North by Abyssinia; on the West by Lake Rudolf, by the Uganda Protectorate and by Lake Victoria and on the South by Tanganyika Territory.”) to short descriptions of the military and police, hospitals, courts of law, banking and income tax, imports and exports, to the agricultural census and Kenya’s development potential: (“Development has so far been confined to the narrow strip near the S. W. Border which has been opened up by the railway. Here the potential wealth of Kenya Colony is unquestionably very great.”)

The book finishes this short section with a half-page concerning minerals. “Traces of copper and gold have been found in several places.” (none of them named) Graphite, manganese and mica deposits are listed by Lake Victoria and the coast, and Magadi Lake’s carbonate of soda potential merits and entire paragraph.

With all this wealth just waiting to be snatched up, it only remains to jump in and grab. Next week: Acquisition of Land.


Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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Monday, June 07, 2010

1921-22 – “AFRICAN GUIDEBOOKS -PART 7 – SLEEPING SICKNESS”

This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.


By 1921, Jade del Cameron’s friends, Lord and Lady Dunbury, were raising horses as were many of the well to do Kenya Colonists, and horses were susceptible to one form of sleeping sickness. Luckily, Kenya seems less troubled by this pestilence than Uganda, Nyasaland, and Rhodesia. The South and East African Yearbook and Guide (1922) had this to say about the disease and the tsetse fly that carried it.

“There is little absolutely determined as regards Sleeping Sickness except that it is a very deadly disease and that it is introduced into human beings by means of the bite of certain flies.” Several committees were formed in 1914 to research the disease but war delayed most of that investigation. What the various committee members and medical missionaries of the time determined was the following:

In Uganda, the tsetse fly Glossina palpalis never goes far from water. Moving the African populations away from riverbanks and lakes “has been followed by the practical elimination of the disease.”

“White residents run little risk” as the fly “will not readily settle on anything of a light colour and most Europeans in the tropics wear white clothes.” The guidebook also recommended cutting down bushes and planting lemon grass, a practice that seemed to work at Entebbe, Uganda.

Since this fly only hatches a single egg from “within the abdomen” it did not increase in population size very rapidly.

More problematic was the sickness as spread by a different species of tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans in Nyasaland and Rhodesia. This fly was “less restricted in its movements.” It appeared to move from district to district by means of “certain animals” and it also was “asserted that the tsetse fly itself does not depend upon animals for its food, but that it can thrive upon the sap from plants.”

Hope emerged in Nyasaland in the form of a dragonfly that “has been observed to prey on the tsetse, a discovery which may have far reaching results.”

But the real hope for Nairobi, which was built on swampy ground, was the fact that “it is unusual to find either species of fly at a greater altitude, even in the tropics, than 4,000 feet.” Nairobi sat at 5,450 feet.

Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

Next week: More from the African manuals: Kenya Colony Facts circa 1921.


NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, The Leopard’s Prey, and Treasure of the Golden Cheetah are all available in trade paperback. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

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